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NASA-CR-192020

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PROJEC

CLJ,-

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F

MINERVA

A

LOW

MISSION

COST

BASED

PROPELLANT

MANNED

MARS

ON

INDIGENOUS

PRODUCTION

O

o,,I

0 _

_

,-_

Z

0

 

_

 

0

University

of Washington

 

NASA/USRA

Advanced

Design

Program

Department

of Aeronautics

and

Astronautics

Seattle,

Washington

98195

June

15,

1992

BASED

PROJECT

MINERVA:

A

LOW

COST

ON

INDIGENOUS

MANNED

MARS

PROPELLANT

MISSION

PRODUCTION

FINAL

REPORT

Space

Systems

Design,

NASA/USRA

Advanced

AA

Design

420/421

Program

David

Beder

Richard

Tuyen

Bryan

Bui

Kelly

Mark

Caviezel

Cinnamon

Todd

Mike

Daggert

Folkers

Mark

Fornia

Natasha

Hanks

Steve

Hamilton

Steven

Hamling

Prepared

By

Jim

Jensen

Bryan

Martin

Johnson

Kalberer

Mike

James

Machula

Madison

Kevin

Mahn

Joe

Mason

Leslie

McCullough

Pat

McGuirk

Genya

Menkin

Tim

Oerting

Prof.

In$f;ructor

Adam

P.

Bruckner

Teaching

Hobie

E.

Assistant

Anderson

Jim

Clint

Phillips

Schneider

Skylar

Brian

Shaw

Thill

John

Tran

Julian

Varlay

Beth

Mark

Waddington

Walter

Vince

Westmark

Lisa

Wetherbee

Department

University

of

Aeronautics

of

Washington

and

Astronautics

Seattle,

Washington

98195

June

15,

1992

FS-10

ABSTRACT

 

Project

Minerva

is a low-cost

manned

Mars

mission

designed

to deliver

 

a crew

of

four

to

the

Martian

surface

using

only

two

sets

of two

launches

 

from

the

Kennedy

Space

 

Center.

Key

concepts

which

make

this

mission

realizable

are

the

use

of near-term

technologies

and

in-

situ

propellant

production,

following

the

scenario

originally

proposed

by

R.

Zubrin.

 

The

first

set

of launches

delivers

two

unmanned

payloads

into

low

Earth

orbit

(LEO):

 

the

first

payload

consists

of

an

Earth

Return

Vehicle

(ERV),

a propellant

production

 

plant,

and

a

set

of

robotic

vehicles;

the

second

payload

consists

of

the

trans-Mars

injection

(TMI)

upper

stage.

In LEO,

the

two

payloads

are

docked

and

the

configuration

is injected

into

a Mars

 

transfer

orbit.

The

landing

on

Mars

is performed

with

the

aid

of

multiple

aerobraking

maneuvers.

 

On

the

Martian

surface,

the

propellant

production

plant

uses

a Sabatier/electrolysis

 

type

process

 

to

combine

nine

tons

of

hydrogen

with

carbon

dioxide

from

the

Martian

atmosphere

 

to

produce

 

over

a

hundred

tons

of

liquid

oxygen

and

liquid

methane,

which

are

later

used

as

the

propellants

for

the

rover

expeditions

and

the manned

return

journey

of

the

ERV.

 
 

Once

the

propellants

for

the

return

journey

have

been

produced,

approximately

two

years

after

the

first

set

of launches,

the

manned

portion

of

the

mission

leaves

Earthl

This

set

of

two

launches

is similar

to

that

of

the

unmanned

vehicles.

The

Mars

Transfer

 

Vehicle

 

(MTV)

and

the

TMI

stage

are

docked

in

LEO

and

injected

into

a Mars

transfer

 

orbit.

 

The

MTV

contains

the

manned

rover

and

the

habitat

which

houses

the

astronauts

 

enroute

to

Mars

and,

subsequently,

on

the

Martian

surface.

During

the

180-day

trip

to

Mars

artificial

 

gravity

is

induced

by

tethering

the

MTV

to

the

TMI

upper

stage

and

inducing

rotation.

 

Upon

arrival

the

tether

is

cut

and

the

MTV

performs

aerobraking

maneuvers

to land

near

the

fully-fueled

 

ERV,

which

is used

by

the

crew

a year

later

to return

to Earth.

The

mission

entails

 

moderate

travel

times

with

relatively

low-energy

conjunction-class

 

trajectories

and

allows

ample

time

for

extendedscientific exploration. The rover is designedwith sufficient surfacemobility for multipleremote-siteexcursions.

Thissetof missionscanberepeatedeverytwo yearsin orderto continueexplorationat a varietyof sitesandgraduallyestablishtheinfrastructurefor a permanentbaseon Mars. In this scenariothesecondunmannedmissionleavesEarthat aboutthe sametime asthe first mannedmissiondoes,butlandsat a differentlocationonMars,within roverrangeof thefirst site,andsoon.

The Earth-to-LEOboostvehicleandTMI stageusedfor this missionarebasedonthe Antares launch vehicle developedby the University of Washington'sAdvanced Design Programin 1991. The Antaresis amodular,reusable,single-stage-to-orbit,H2/O2-propelled vehicle with a maximumpayloadcapacityof 70 metric tons. Only a simple docking and latching processis necessaryin LEO, ascomparedto the extensivein-orbit construction requiredin otherproposedMarsexplorationschemes.

This reportpresentsin detailthenecessarysystemsfor theflights to andfrom Mars,as well asthoseneededfor thestayonMars. Thesesystemsincludethetransfervehicledesign, life support,guidanceandcommunications,roversandtelepresence,powergeneration,and propellantmanufacturing.Alsoincludedaretheorbitalmechanics,thescientificgoals,andthe estimatedmissioncosts.

PREFACE

 

Since

1985

the

Department

 

of

Aeronautics

 

and

Astronautics

at

the

University

of

Washington

has

participated

in

the

NASA/USRA

Advanced

 

Design

Program.

From

the

beginning,

student

participation

in

this

space-design

activity

has

been

integrated

as

much

as

possible

with

the

faculty's

NASA-funded

 

research

programs.

The

student

response

has

been

excellent

and

the

synergism

with

the

research

program

has

been

highly

beneficial.

 

The

course

structure

is

aimed

at exposing

the

students

 

to

a design

situation

which

is

"real

world"

as

much

as

possible

 

within

the

University

framework.

 

In

addition,

the

course

undertakes

the

responsibility

of

teaching

the

students

those

aspects

of space

engineering

and

science

which

are

needed

for

a general

 

capability

in

the

field

of space

systems.

Students

are

taught

the

fundamentals

of re-entry

 

physics,

nuclear

and

solar

power

systems,

 

space

structures

and

thermal

management,

 

as

well

as

selected

 

topics

on

advanced

propulsion

systems

and

orbital

mechanics.

The

design

problems

expose

the

students

to

situations

in which

they

must

understand

the

complete

systems

interdependence

of structural,

thermal,

propulsive,

and

other

components,

and

environmental

 

constraints

particular

to space.

 
 

Our

Senior-level,

undergraduate

 

course

offering

is titled

"Space

Systems

Design",

and

consists

of

two,

linked,

10-week

academic

quarters

 

(Winter

 

and

Spring).

The

typical

enrollment

is

30-40

students.

 

The

first

course

(AA420)

is

initially

structured

as

a

formal

lecture/discussion

series

which

meets

 

5 hours

per

week.

Formal

lectures

by

the

instructors

and

presentations

by

guest

lecturers

from

industry

and,

when

possible,

from

NASA,

provide

the

students

with

the

fundamental

background

they

need

to carry

out

their

design

studies.

By

the

second

or

third

week

of

the

quarter,

 

the

students

are

divided

 

into

design

teams

whose

responsibility

is

to

address

specific

subsystems

 

of

the

overall

design.

 

As

the

design

progresses,

more

and

more

time

is

devoted

to

in-class

discussions

of

the

students'

work.

A

teaching

assistant

supported

by

NASMUSRA

funds

works

with

the

students

and

helps

the

° ..

Ul

instructors

 

with

project

management.

 

The

accomplishments

 

of

the

first

quarter's

work

are

presented

 

at

the

end

of

the

quarter

in

the

form

of formal

written

progress

reports,

one

by

each

of

the

design

groups.

In

addition,

 

as

a

further

assessment

 

of

the

students'

 

skills

 

and

capabilities,

 

weekly

homework

 

assignments

are

given,

and

mid-term

 

and

final

examinations

are

administered.

 
 

The

linked

Spring

Quarter

offering

(AA421)

 

is

intended

 

to

refine

and

advance

 

the

design

developed

 

during

the

Winter

Quarter

and

to address

key

unresolved

problem

 

areas.

The

class

continues

to

meet

formally

five

hours

a week

in

group

discussion

format.

Early

 

in

the

quarter

a

preliminary

design

 

review

is

conducted

by

the

responsible

 

faculty

and

aerospace

engineers

from

local

industry,

e.g.,

Boeing

and

Rocket

Research

Co.

 

At

the

end

of

the

Spring

Quarter

the

students

submit

a single

 

final

report

on

the

overall

design,

as

well

as

a summary

report,

and

prepare

for

the

NASA/USRA

 

ADP

Summer

Conference.

 

During

this

quarter

only

one

or

two

homework

assignments

and

one

brief

quiz

are

given.

Most

of

the

students'

 

grade

is

based

on their

contributions

 

to

the

final

reports.

 

Although

 

the

students

consider

 

the

work

load

for

this

course

sequence

 

to

be

very

heavy,

they

are

quick

to agree

that

it provides

them

with

an excellent

 

introduction

to

the

world

of design.

A general

competitive

atmosphere

is maintained

wherever

possible,

as an additional

simulation

 

of

the

real

world.

 

The

feedback

 

from

the

students

also

has

proved

effective

in

stimulating

the

instructors.

 

The

ongoing

 

policy

of integrating

the

research

programs

 

into

the

space

design

course

has

proven

to

be

a fruitful

way

of

providing

both

a sound

 

background

 

in

space

engineering

 

disciplines

 

and

stimulating

creative

thinking

to

solve

problems

of importance

to

the

exploration

of space.

 
 

Under

this

program,

 

since

its inception,

 

we

have

examined

 

various

problems

relating

to

the

critical

 

needs

of space

prime

power,

 

propulsion,

and

transportation.

 

Design

topics

have

ranged

from

solar

and

nuclear

 

prime

power

for

space

platforms

and

lunar

bases,

to

innovative

iv

space

transportation

systems

 

for

low

cost

delivery

 

of

payloads

to

low

Earth

orbit

and

interplanetary

 

space.

The

choice

of

these

topic

 

areas

for

continuing

design

studies

has

been

based

on

the

historical

emphasis

on

these

areas

in

the

space

engineering

 

research

carried

out

by

the

instructors

 

and

their

colleagues.

This

focus

has

also

been

based

on

the

recognized

need

for

innovative

 

approaches

in these

key

areas

for

successful

expansion

of

the

U.S.

space

program.

The

design

topic

selected

for

1992

is

a

case

in

point.

The

success

of

Antares,

the

modular

launch

system

designed

by

the

class

in

1991,

was

such

that

we

decided

to examine

its

potential

to support

a major

planetary

mission,

 

i.e.,

the

manned

exploration

of Mars.

Although

numerous

Mars

mission

studies

 

have

been

carried

out

by

NASA

and

industry,

and

universities

participating

in

the

Advanced

Design

Program,

 

our

approach

differs

substantially

 

from

most

scenarios

offered

to date.

We

took

our

cue

from

the

preliminary

 

studies

performed

by

Robert

Zubrin,

at Martin

Marietta

in

Denver,

on

missions

to

Mars

which

would

make

use

of

in

situ

resources,

namely

the

Martian

 

atmosphere,

 

to

manufacture

 

the

propellant

necessary

for

the

return

trip.

This

concept

makes

possible

a "direct-to-Mars"

scenario

that

circumvents

 

any

need

to perform

 

on-orbit

assembly

 

of

the

spacecraft

 

that

travel

to

and

from

Mars,

thus

reducing

the

overall

mission

costs

by

nearly

an

order

of

magnitude.

 

Despite

its

rather

daring

nature,

the

freshness,

elegance,

and

simplicity

of

this

concept,

 

and

its potential

for

enormous

cost

savings

make

it

the

most

feasible

 

manned

Mars

scenario

 

proposed

to date.

All

other

concepts

suffer

from

extreme

complexity

and

size,

and

would

 

incur

such

astronomical

costs

that

they

virtually

 

guarantee

that

they

will

not

be initiated

any

time

in

the

foreseeable

 

future,

if ever,

particularly

given

the

prevailing

economic

conditions

 

in

the

U.S.

and

Russia.

 

Because

our

Antares

 

launch

vehicle

concept

is

also

based

on

the

premise

of simplicity

 

and

low

cost,

and

because

it

is

capable

of

heavy

lift

(70

metric

tons

to

LEO)

in

its

largest

modular

configuration,

 

we

felt

that

it

would

make

a good

match

with

the

requirements

of

a

direct-to-Mars

 

mission

concept.

 

The

class

proceeded

 

to develop

 

this

concept

to

a significantly

greater

detail

than

Zubrin'

studies

to

date,

in order

to permit

a more

informed

assessment

of

its

merits,andto betteridentify critical aspectsandpotentialproblems. In additionthestudents incorporatedtheirown ideasandapproachesto variousaspectsof theproject. Theresultshave beenhighly successfuland haveconfirmedthe viability of the Mars-directapproach. Our presentationattheNASA/USRA SummerConferencein Washington,DC,June 15-19,1992, waswell receivedby NASA, USRA, industry,anduniversityrepresentatives,andgenerated muchdiscussion.

AdamP.Bruckner Professorof AeronauticsandAstronautics June28, 1992

vi

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

The

AA

420/421

class

of

1992

 

completed

 

this

report

with

invaluable

aid

from

many

sources.

Most

importantly,

 

thanks

 

go

to

Prof.

Adam

Bruckner

and

Abraham

Hertzberg

for

guidance

and

encouragement

through

the

year.

The

knowledge

and

wisdom

that

they

imparted

will

be

with

us

throughout

 

our

careers.

 

Also,

we

are

thankful

for

the

help

from

 

teaching

assistant

Hobie

Anderson.

We

also

wish

to thank

David

Carlile,

last

year's

teaching

assistant,

 

for

his

very

helpful

comments

and

suggestions.

 
 

Robert

Zubrin

was

very

influential

 

in

the

initial

design

and

concept

of

this

manned

Mars

mission.

His

work

laid

the

foundation

 

for

this

project

including

integration

of

the

concepts

of

in-situ

propellant

manufacturing,

 

direct

Mars

architecture,

 

tether

for

astronaut

safety,

independence

 

on

Space

Station

 

Freedom,

and

no

in-orbit

construction.

We

also

thank

R.

Zubrin

for

his

valuable

time

when

he visited

our

class

and

listened

to

our

ideas.

We

are

also

grateful

for

the

help

we

received

from

outside

sources.

These

people

sacrificed

their

valuable

time

to answer

our

questions.

From

the

Boeing

Company

alone,

there

are

numerous

people

to

thank.

 

These

 

include

Dana

Andrews,

 

Tim

Vinapol,

Gordon

R.

Woodcock,

and

John

Anderson

who

shared

their

expertise

in space

transportation

technology

and

other

various

subjects

with

us

through

lectures

and

individual

consultations.

 

Dana

Andrews

and

Tim

Vinapol

 

are

especially

 

deserving

because

they

sacrificed

 

a

full

afternoon

so

that

we could

present

our

preliminary

design

for

review.

Thanks

are

also

due

to David

Mercier

for

making

available

NASA's

OPGUID

 

trajectory

analysis

program.

 
 

Answers

to many

of

our

questions

 

came

from

individuals

representing

other

companies

 

and

universities.

Chuck

Limmerick

 

at

Pratt

and

Whitney

supplied

information

on

engine

specifications.

 

Ronald

Greely

at Arizona

 

State

University

provided

us

information

on

Mars

vii

landing sites. Michael E. Tauberand DemetriusA. Kourtidesfrom NASA Ames sentus informationon aerobrakethermalprotectionandandansweredgeneralquestions.Thanksto theRocketResearchCo.thatofferedhelpin theareasof rocketattitudecontrolsystems.

Furthermore,wewould like to extendour gratitudeandapologiesto anyonewho was inadvertentlynotacknowledgedabove. Dueto thelengthandscopeof ProjectMinerva,some individualswho helpedusmayhavebeenomittedbyaccident.

Finally, thanksgoesto NASA/USRA and Frank Swalley, out center mentor, for sponsoringthisprogramandgiving usthechanceto developthis project. Thanksalsogoesto the Departmentof Aeronauticsand Astronauticshereat the University of Washingtonfor additionalfundingandotherhelp.

°°°

Vlll

TABLE

OF

CONTENTS

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

7.0

EXECUTIVE

SUMMARY

..............................................

ORBITAL

ANALYSIS

.................................................

DESIGN

OF

TRANSFER

VEHICLES

....................

............

AEROBRAKE

...........................................................

LIFE

SCIENCES

AND

HABITAT

DESIGN

..........................

GUIDANCE,

COMMUNICATIONS,

AND

CONTROLS

............

POWER

AND

PROPELLANT

PRODUCTION

.......................

1.1

2.1

3.1

4.1

:5.1

6.1

7.

l

8.0

9.0

ROVERS

AND

ROBOTICS

............................................

MARS

SCIENCE

.......................................................

8.1

9.1

10.0

ECONOMICS

..........................................................

10.

l

11.0

CONCLUSION

........................................................

APPENDIX

A:

DERIVATION

OF

ORBITAL

ELEMENTS

.................

11.1

A.

1

APPENDIX

APPENDIX

APPENDIX

APPENDIX

APPENDIX

APPENDIX

B:

ENTRY

PARACHUTES

.....................................

B.

1

C:

LASER

COMMUNICATION

FEASIBILITY

...............

D:

MARS

SURFACE

POWER

ALTERNATIVE

...............

E:

SUPPLEMENTAL

OXYGEN

PRODUCTION

.............

C.I

D.1

E.

1

F:

IN-SITU

PROPELLANT

PRODUCTION

ANALYSIS

....

F.I

G:

MARS

CHARACTERISTICS

...............................

G.

l

1.0

EXECUTIVE

 

SUMMARY

 

Kelly

Caviezel

Todd

Daggert

Mike

Folkers

Mark

Fomia

Steven

Hamling

Bryan

Johnson

Martin

Kalberer

Mike

Machula

Kevin

Mahn

Leslie

McCullough

Clint

Schneider

Vince

Westmark

TABLE

OF

CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION

.....................................................................

 

1.1

MISSION

SCENARIO

..............................................................

1.3

1.2.1

ABORT

CAPABILITIES

.......................................................

1.5

ASTRODYNAMICS

..................................................................

1.6

DESIGN

OF

TRANSFER

VEHICLES

.........................................

1.8

1.4.1

UPPER

STAGE/TMI

BOOSTER

VEHICLE

................................

1.8

1.4.2

UNMANNED

MARS

TRANSFER

VEHICLE

..............................

1.9

1.4.3

EARTH

RE-ENTRY

MODULE

..............................................

 

1.10

1.4.4

MARS

DESCENT

AND

EARTH

RETURN

ENGINES

..................

1.11

1.4.5

MANNED

TRANSFER

VEHICLE

..........................................

1.12

1.4.6

HABITAT

.......................................................................

 

1.13

AEROBRAKE

  • 1.5 .........................................................................

1.14

1.5.1

HEAT

SHIELDING

............................................................

1.15

1.5.2

STRUCTURE

AND

OPERATION

..........................................

1.15

1.5.3

AEROCAP'IZIRE

...............................................................

 

1.16

  • 1.6 COMMUNICATIONS,

GUIDANCE,

AND

CONTROLS

...............

1.17

1.6.1

LANDING

CAPABILITIES

..................................................

1.18

1.6.2

COMMUNICATION

...........................................................

1.18

POWER

  • 1.7 ..................................................................

SYSTEMS

1.19

  • 1.8 IN-SITU

PROPELLANT

PRODUCTION

....................................

1.20

  • 1.9 ROVERS

AND

ROBOTICS

.......................................................

 

1.21

1.9.1

UNMANNED

ROVER

........................................................

1.21

1.912

MANNED

ROVER

.............................................................

1.22

1.9.3

HOPPER

.........................................................................

1.23

1.9.4

MINI

ROVER

...................................................................

1.23

  • 1.10 SCIENCE

MARS

.....................................................................

1.23

  • 1.11 ..........................................................................

ECONOMICS

1.24

NOMENCLATURE

..................................................................

1.26

REFERENCES

........................................................................

1.28

FIGURES

...............................................................................

1.30

1.1

INTRODUCTION

 

For

centuries

 

humans

have

pondered

 

the

nature

 

of

Mars

and

developed

 

many

theories

to support

what

was

observed.

 

Speculation

 

on

the

presence

and

extent

 

of life

on

Mars

has

long

held

the

interest

of both

the

scientific

community

and

the

general

public.

 

For

the

past

28

years

Mars

has

been

explored

by

unmanned

space

 

probes,

beginning

 

with

the

Mariner

series

in

the

late

1960's

and

followed

in

the

mid

1970's

by

Viking

I

and

Viking

 

II.

These

missions

have

answered

some

of

the

questions

surrounding

Mars

and

have

given

rise

to

new

ones.

With

the

Mars

Observer

establishing

the

return

to exploration

of

the

red

planet

 

in

1993,

Mars

is currently

receiving

attention

as

a

possible

target

for

manned

exploration

in

the

early

21 st century.

 

The

National

Space

Council

(NSC)

has

the

responsibility

 

of

defining

the

future

objectives

of

America's

 

space

program

 

in

what

is

known

 

as

the

Space

Exploration

Initiative

(SEI).

NASA,

the

Department

of

Defense,

and

the

Department

 

of

Energy

are

the

primary

participants

that

assist

 

the

NSC

with

forming

the

SEI,

which

includes

 

a

plan

for

the

manned

exploration

of

Mars.

SEI's

plans

require

in-orbit

construction

and

multiple

launches,

 

and

consequently

would

 

be

extremely

complex

and

costly.

 

This

is

one

reason

why

SEI

did

not

receive

any

funding

from

Congress

for

fiscal

year

1991,

and

why

it continues

to have

difficulty

in drawing

support.

1 Therefore,

an opportunity

exists

to

develop

a simple,

low-cost

alternative

to

SEI's

present

concept

of placing

humans

 

on

Mars

for

the

purpose

of effective

 

exploration.

 
 

Such

a mission

 

has

been

suggested

by

R.

Zubrin

of

Martin

Marietta.2,

3

His

so-called

Mars-Direct

Mission

 

Architecture

is

based

on

the

premises

 

of

using

near-term

technologies,

 

going

to

Mars

directly

 

from

Earth's

surface

on

a

conjunction

 

class

trajectory

 

(thus

circumventing

in-space

construction

 

and